Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Set to clear the breakfast table, I notice the platter of leftover fruit. Sun streams through the east window, surrounds the crystal in shimmering haze. Vibrancy leaps from grapes and orange and pineapple slices. "I should have taken a picture," I tell my wife. She replies, "There will be other opportunities."

We've finished another meal, this one with English muffins and baked oatmeal from an Amish recipe. Our guest was Rob, a New Zealander. This man of means, whose humility and graciousness strikes us as precious, has left to enjoy the day with associates.

I scan the dining room of my family home. Parchment-hued walls and China cabinets shelved with heirlooms shine back at me.

I spread the covers on our bed, a queen with its white ornamental headboard. Actually, it is creamed, a change wrought by blended smoke stains. Our 19th century home survived a fire not long ago, another miracle. Pillow cases feature a wildflower pattern. I gaze at the quilt sewn by my mother-in-law. Double-warmth.

Massive white furniture my father made houses our clothes. A gray plastic tub holds toys for our great granddaughter's delight and exploration. The lustrous pine floors, on which everything stands, date back to 1869.

Again, I peer out a huge window. The yard, the farm, birds swooping through sundrenched air--all this fills me to lightness of being.

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